When a natural disaster destroys Louisiana’s largest teaching hospital and trauma center, the result is devastating. But it also leaves that community with the opportunity to reimagine and rebuild a leading-edge healthcare facility. That is exactly what the state of Louisiana did in 2015 when it built University Medical Center (UMC) New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
A public-private partnership with the state of Louisiana, UMC New Orleans is operated by LCMC Health, a not-for-profit healthcare system managing five hospitals and employing more than 8,200 physicians, clinicians, and support personnel in the greater New Orleans metropolitan area. After Hurricane Katrina (August 2005) destroyed Charity Hospital, a major academic and trauma facility, the state of Louisiana decided to build its modern replacement.
Working under a highly accelerated schedule, the IT department was faced with a daunting challenge. “We had to essentially open up a billion-dollar hospital with about six months of time,” explains Austin Park, principal consultant with LCMC Health. The user experience for physicians and clinicians was of paramount importance. In addition, there were two other fundamental goals: lowering operating expenses, and developing a solution that would provide flexibility and the ability to roll out applications very quickly while maintaining always-on status.